What's Happening?

31.7.13

SABC 24 Hour News Channel launches tomorrow at 6pm



It's been a long time coming, but finally the South African Broadcasting Corporation is going ahead with it's 24 hour news channel and will be going live tomorrow evening at 6pm. 
To be found on DStv Channel 404, the channel hopes to be a success and obviously to take some of the viewers of the rival eNCA. 

"We are very excited about this partnership with Multichoice, as it will expose South African news stories to an audience not only in the country, but outside of South Africa as well." the SABC's acting COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng said in a statement.

The SABC unveiled it's schedule late last week. "The SABC will start weekdays by simulcasting the tremendously popular and long-running news magazine show Morning Live between 6am and 9am, bringing viewers breaking news and in-depth reporting on topical current affairs topics," the SABC said in a statement. 

Other programmes will include Newsrooms LIVE, which offers an inside look into SABC bureau newsrooms across South Africa and also the world.  There will also be rolling news updates the whole day (let’s hope they’ll do it better than eNCA and the ridiculous ‘Breaking News’ with little to no updates).

Peter Ndoro and Vabakshnee Chetty will be the main anchors for the evening news. The anchors of the daytime news programmes haven’t been announced.
In their Up Close programme, journalists will be interviewing news-makers and on Question Time, pertinent issues of the day will be unpacked.

Business News will be a major feature on the channel, as will the arts, lifestyle and entertainment, with Kaleidoscope showcasing the latest in the entertainment world.
Other programming includes: Network (a look at technology and social media), World Today and Media Monitor (a unique look into the news behind the news). A daily wrap of proceedings in Parliament is offered through View from the House.

We are looking forward to Sports Live, where the latest sports news will be unpacked. SABC has impressive sports presenters and we hope they’ll use people like Lebo Mabena and Vaylen Kirtley more.

We wish the SABC News Channel all the best.

SABC 3's Top Travel Returns


With a few tweets, Top Billing's Jeannie D and Janez Vermeiren have announced that we'll soon see their travel show, Top Travel back on our screens. There's still no word from SABC 3 about when the show will be screened, but since Jeannie and Janez are still in the planning process and the show is still to be shot, we can expect it early next year.
The first season of the travel show was a success and showcased the excellent presenting skills of Janez and Jeannie, plus the all important comedic timing. Scripted or not, it works and when something is good, it should be acknowledged! 


SAFTA Entries Close on Friday



*** Press Release***

 The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) call for entry is still open and will close on 2nd of August 2013 at 4pm.  All local production companies are reminded to submit their entries into the SAFTAs by the closing date as there will be no extension of submissions. The entries opened on the 3rd of July 2013.
The SAFTAs, managed under the custodianship of the National Film and Video Foundation, are an industry initiative governed by the SAFTAS committee and the body of industry representatives comprising of the broadcasters, SASFED and other key stakeholders.
The basic guidelines for the eligibility of entries are as follows:
  • For TV fiction, non-fiction, student films and TV animation, only South African films and television programmes that have been produced and publicly exhibited or broadcast between the 1st of August 2012 and the 31st of July 2013 are eligible to enter.
  • For feature film and feature length animation, only South African films produced and publicly exhibited or broadcast between the 1st of January 2013 and the 31st of December 2013 are eligible to enter. Only productions that are entered will be eligible for consideration.
"Our closing date is fast approaching, and we would like to remind every eligible productions to submit their entries. We have seen the SAFTAs brand growing from strength to strength each year, and I have no doubt that the 8th edition next year will even be greater, with the support of our local productions," says NFVF CEO and SAFTAs Chairperson Zama Mkosi.
The SAFTAs give recognition to individuals and productions that have excelled in the following categories: TV Non-fiction, TV Fiction, Feature Films, Short Films, Student Films and Animation. The Special Lifetime Achievement award is also given to the film and television industry legends who have long served in various fields of the industry. The SAFTAs also afford the public an opportunity to vote for their favourate TV soap in the Best TV Soap award. Although this award is voted for by the public, however TV soapies don't receive automatic nomination; they still need to submit an entry to be eligible for this award.
The SAFTAs committee has also decided that no deadline extension will be granted for the submission of entries and as such the industry is encouraged to submit by the set closing date.

30.7.13

Hillary Clinton TV series for NBC


NBC has finally woken up and smelt the coffee when it comes to the TV viewer's love of limited mini-series. NBC boss, Bob Greenblatt announced that his network has ordered a four hour mini-series based on Hillary Clinton. Diane Lane has been earmarked for the role and casting is now on the go for Bill Clinton's character. 
This comes after NBC ordered a six-part mini series on Cleopatra and according to The Hollywood Reporter, they also ordered an: "Updated remake of Rosemary's Baby, a new version of Stephen King's Tommyknockers and another limited series from Mark Burnett tentatively called Plymouth."

The mini-series, titled Hilary, will be based on her life as a mother, wife, a poltician and her years as Senator. It'll begin during Clinton's years as first lady during the second term of her husband's tenure as POTUS and will also possibly include her expected run for Presidency at  the 2016 elections. 
The series will be written and directed by Courtney Hunt. 

The Reason why Cote de Pablo left NCIS

Cote de Pablo with her co-star Michael Wetherly
It's news that fans of the show have been bothered about. 'Why did Cote leave?' many have asked on social networks. Cote, who plays the popular Ziva David on the navy crime drama, NCIS.  She joined the show, which is the most watched TV show, with ratings of over 20 million, on the third season and will leave after the first two episodes of the eleventh season. 
At the BCS NCIS panel, CBS CEO, Les Moonves (who is married to Julie Chen of The Talk) said they tried everything to keep Cote on the show. 

"We offered Cote a lot of money and then we offered her even more money," he said. "We really didn't want to lose her. We love her ... We obviously were in discussion with the rest of the cast and the producers [and Cote]. Ultimately, she decided she didn't want to do the show." Moonves said  De Pablo decided to leave on her on. "It was purely her decision," he said. "We don't like losing anyone. It's the highest-rated show on TV. We did everything humanly possible."
I blame the writers of the show dragging out the potential love stories that could've happened.All these people are above 40 and none of them think about settling down? Come on! It's starting to get stale too. The characters haven't evolved. Who then will stay on a show that isn't testing their skills as an actor anymore? And herein lies the problem with network TV- the inability to take decisions and risks that would make the show better. Yes, you may lose a few viewers, but at the end of the day when you know you've out in a great deal of work, then you'll have no worries about main cast members leaving the show. 

Lindsay to Guest Host 'Chelsea Lately'


It seems like the stars are finally aligning for trouble actress, Lindsay Lohan. The former child star, who is currently in rehab and will come out on 31 July (Wednesday), has scored another major gig. 
After agreeing to being interviewed by Oprah and also getting her own eight episode reality show, Lindsay will on Monday, August 5, be guest hosting Chelsea Handler's talk show, Chelsea Lately. 
According to E! News, will be running the roundtable discussion and also interviewing a celebrity guest!
This is obviously great news for Lindsay, however, one cant help by wonder if it isn't too soon? After all she'd have just been out of rehab for five days and putting herself under so much pressure- is it going to work?  Let's just hope she'll be able to handle the pressure. Her latest film, The Canyon's will be released on Friday and sadly for her, only received one positive review from Variety. The rest were scathing. She also recently appeared on Charlie Sheen's Anger Management. 
But the big question is; is Hollywood ready to give her another chance? 

29.7.13

The MTV Base VJ Search's Top 11 Announced


The Durban finalists of the MTV Base VJ Search 2013
After a whirlwind three weeks of auditions in South Africa's top three cities: Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, the judges for the second season of MTV Base's VJ Search, the top 11 finalists have been announced.
In Cape Town; Loren Loubser,  Khanya Siyengo and Roxanne Kalie impressed the judges. In Durban, the top three were Tamasha Gambushe, Wandile Chamane and Lynton Harvey. Rounding up the Top 11 in Joburg were  Nkhensani Khoza,  Keitumetse Noinyane, Tsholofelo Semenya, Sandile Ntshingila and Cyprian Ndlovu.
Last year produced Nomuzi Mabena, who won the competition and also South Africa's newest acting talent, Nomzamo Mbatha. There's little doubt that the finalists will go on to become stars.
The judges are Bonang Matheba, Sizwe Dhlomo and Joey Rasdien. The winner stands to receive an impressive and envy inducing set of prices, including an MTV Base contract worth half a million and a Citroën car worth R 315,000.
 Highlights and funny moments from the auditions will feature on the MTV Base VJSearch Brought To You By Citroën DS3 Cabrio which will air weekly on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) from Friday 16 August at 5pm
  

26.7.13

Survivor SA Audition Dates

*** PRESS RELEASE***



Survivor South Africa
Do you have what it takes to be a Champion?

Who will be South africa's next Ultimate Survivor? If you have your eye on this coveted title it's now or never. Auditions for M-Net's new Survivor South Africa: Champions with Mark Fish and Corne Krige at the helm, will take place around the country from Thursday, 1 August.


In a twist that is rewriting international Survivor history, these two sporting legends have been tasked to lead the tribes that will face hunger pains, the elements of nature, nasty creepy crawlies, and the game’s trademark plotting and scheming, knowing that there's an amazing cash prize of R 1 million rand awaiting the winner. If you are physically strong, mentally fit and willing to make do with the limited resources of a deserted island in order to win R1 Million then Mark and Corne are looking for you!

Auditions for Survivor South Africa: Champions will be held in the following cities around South Africa:

Johannesburg: Thursday, 1 August at the Indaba Hotel
Cape Town: Thursday, 8 August at The River Club
Durban: Thursday, 15 August at The BAT Centre

Contestants must be older than 18, with a valid passport, the personality and the determination to remain standing in the harshest of circumstances!

The audition dates listed above are the only dates contestants may come to audition. It will be a first come, first served process, so contestants should try to arrive by 08:00 am on the day of their audition. Contestants can download their entry form on www.mnet.co.za, print it out and bring it with them on the day of their audition, alternatively there will be entry forms available at each venue.

For answers to all your questions about Survivor SA: Champions, as well as a link to the entry form, please visit:




Idols Season 9 Returns on Sunday

Idols judges, Randall Abrahams, Unathi Msengana and Gareth Cliff
It's once again time for SA's longest running reality show competition, Idols, which looks for the next best singing talent in South Africa. With Durban's Khaya Mthethwa having won the show last year, the stakes are very high for Durban contestants! 
Check the Sunday Tribune SMtv magazine on Sunday for Buhle Mbonambi's story about the Durban leg of M-Net's Idols. 
In the meantime, here a press release with more information about the ninth season of Idols, which will be screened on M-Net and Mzansi Magic on Sunday at 5.30pm

*********************************************************************************

**Press Release***

Idols SA returns at full blast
New venues, more talent, fresh approach

South Africa’s most talked-about talent competition, Idols SA, returns to our screens for a resounding ninth season on Sunday, 28 July at 17:30.

Once again, the series is a co-production between the two powerhouse pay-television channels M-Net and Mzansi Magic, which will simulcast all the episodes. And, as per usual, viewers can tune into the Idols Extra channel, channel 199, for more angelic, audacious or cringe-worthy auditions.

This season, however, Idols SA is hitting the refresh button with a special highlights episode featuring more auditions, new sets, amazing talent and an exciting move to the city of Tshwane.

The Idols Top 10 Spectacular Shows and Live Results Shows will take place at the state-of-the-art auditorium at the Moreleta Park Church in Pretoria East, while the finalists will be determined by the Group Phase performances at the State Theatre.

“Going to these venues in Tshwane opens up opportunities to take Idols to the next level,” says M-Net’s Head of Communications, Lani Lombard. “The auditorium, for example, can seat more than 6000 Idols fans and crowds of new people who haven’t been exposed to the magic of live Idols performances will be able to experience these spectacular stage-shows first-hand.”

M-Net and Mzansi Magic will release information about the ticket sales shortly.

“In the meantime, be sure you’re part of every step in the Idols journey by watching the lead-up to the Spectaculars,” continues Lombard.

The first episode of Idols SA Season 9 (Sunday, 28 July at 17:30) covers the Cape Town auditions, where Idols judge Unathi Msengana desperately tries to persuade her increasingly-picky counterparts Randall Abrahams and Gareth Cliff to give more singers the green light.

The following week, (Sunday, 4 August) thousands of wannabes rock up at the Durban auditions to follow in the famous footsteps of  last year’s winner Khaya Mthethwa and in episode 4 (Sunday 11, August) it’s Gauteng’s chance to impress the judges.

But, as a special treat to viewers, M-Net and Mzansi Magic have added a fourth bonanza auditions episode to this year’s line-up. On Sunday, 18 August, you can enjoy a range of clips that weren’t part of the first three episodes.

“This year’s auditions were extra special,” explains Idols SA’s Executive Producer, Gavin Wratten. “The volume of fantastic footage just warranted an additional episode.”

Idols SA will be on M-Net and Mzansi Magic from Sunday, 28 July until Tuesday, 26 November, when the Live Finale takes place. The Idols Extra channel 199 will run from Sunday 28, July after the first episode, at 19:00 until the end of the Theatre Phase.

To be part of the Idols conversation, go to the official Idols Facebook page at “Idols South Africa”, or join in on Twitter with @IdolsSA. The official Idols Season 9 website is

SABC Press Screening- SABC 3



In a first, SABC 1, 2 and 3 held a joint press screening at The Oyster Box hotel in Durban this afternoon. The purpose of their press screening is to keep the TV media up to date with the changes happening at the channels, new shows and new seasons of shows currently on the channels. 

The ratings challenged commercial channel of the SABC, is actually doing very well, programming wise. With the addition of Strictly Come Dancing to their line-up, the ratings have been looking good. It’s still incredulous to see that Days of our Lives is still the top rated show on the channel, while Isidingo and High Rollers are not doing so well. It’s common knowledge that Scandal chose to air on Friday’s to basically limit the Isidingo numbers. Clever move on e.tv’s side. Sad for SABC 3. But with new writer, Liam Stratton, let’s hope that there will be an improvement with the calibre of storytelling on Isidingo. And where is Michelle Botes? Can she come back? Isidingo is weird without Cherel Veryn-de Villiers- Haines-Le Roux- Holmes.

The addition of The Bold and the Beautiful to SABC 3’s schedule from 2 September, is a good move, since it was misplaced on SABC 1. Let’s hope that there’ll be a rise in ratings. The whole daytime TV aspect of things is pretty clever, especially with the lead in from the Dr. Oz, 3 Talk, Days and Bold. The usual international comedies and drama’s are also making a return. As are The Amazing Race (season 17) and the second season of the truly terrible Top Gear  USA.

The second season of Justin Bonello’s The Ultimate Braai Master also returns on 18 September at 8.30pm.
New show, Icons, which starts this coming Sunday and features some of South Africa’s iconic personalities, from Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu to FW de Klerk.
Top Billing is also celebrating it’s 21st anniversary and will be celebrating by giving away a prize. It’s so good to see Ursula Chikane and Nico Panagio back on the show. Now when will Michael Mol grace us with his presence again?
SABC 3 have also managed to get great documentaries that were screened by Discovery a few months ago. Doccies about Steve Jobs, Wikileaks, Mark Zuckerberg, the Bin Laden capture and assassination. 

SABC Press Screening: SABC 2

In a first, SABC 1, 2 and 3 held a joint press screening at The Oyster Box hotel in Durban this afternoon. The purpose of their press screening is to keep the TV media up to date with the changes happening at the channels, new shows and new seasons of shows currently on the channels. 


SABC 2 truly has to be the toughest channel to understand in South Africa. This is because it has to appeal to seven languages. Afrikaans, Sesotho, SeTswana, Sepedi, Xitshonga, TshiVenda and of course English. Getting content that will appeal to all these people must be a mission.
While they may get it wrong sometimes, it’s always great when they actually DO get it right.
With shows like 7de Laan, 50/50, Noot vir Noot, Muvhango, Motswako, Pasella, they have a decent mix of lifestyle, soap and drama, musical variety and environmental shows, that should appeal to all people who speak the languages listed above.
With the recent return of 7de Laan’s Diaan Lawrensen, who plays Paula van der Lecq-De Bruyn, I’m certain that ratings will rise even more. While it doesn’t the ratings boasted by Generations and the e.tv soaps, Scandal and Rhythm City, 7de Laan has the most loyal viewers and we have seen this almost every year at the South African Film and Television Awards when they take the Best Soapie of the Year award. Even SABC 2’s Head of Publicity, Zandile Nkonyeni, commented about the popularity of the show and its loyal viewers. “It always suprises us whenever we run a 7de Laan competition how many entries we get. We’d announce a competition and the next morning we’d have 30 000 entries. It’s unbelievable. But I guess it’s because 7de Laan is a true South African story and it appeals to many people,” she said.

Shows returning include the revamped Afro Cafe on 25 September at 10pm. The music show, which gives the viewer an inside look into what inspires their favourite musicians, has a new and bigger studio and a format change, which from the looks of the screener, should be a great one to look forward to.
Motswako has a new presenter and a new season will premiere on .
The excellent and award winning 90 Plein Street, which stars Warona Seane, Nadine Naidoo, Mothusi Magano, Atandwa Kani and Neo Ntlatleng, retruns on 29 october at 9.30pm.
The longest running TV show in South Africa, 50/50, returns on the 9th of September, celebrate 30 years on year.
Another show returning is Big Break Legacy on 17 August and In Plain Sight on 18 August.
The fourth season of Jam Sandwich will air early next year and there’s a possibility that they will be releasing a CD compilation of the songs recorded during the episode. When asked, Nkonyeni said that they are working on it. “There’s a lot of red tape as I’m sure you’re aware. But we are working on it so that next season there could actually be a CD of the songs produced during the artist sessions. The show is very popular so if there’s even more of a demand, then we’ll push for it.”
The third season of I Want to Sing Gospel is also making a return in October and a new drama series, by the producers of SABC 3’s High Rollers, will also be premiering on SABC 2 in October. 

SABC Press Screening: SABC 1




In a first, SABC 1, 2 and 3 held a joint press screening at The Oyster Box hotel in Durban this afternoon. The purpose of their press screening is to keep the TV media up to date with the changes happening at the channels, new shows and new seasons of shows currently on the channels. 

Upcoming shows on the youth focused channel include the brand-new season of the popular dance show, So You Think You Can Dance. Auditions have taken place in Durban and Cape Town, with little to no media knowledge. Rapid Blue is one again in charge of the production. In the press pack, there is a picture of Muvhango actor, Themba Nofemele. We wonder if this means that he’s the host. If he is, then I think it won’t work. Sade Giliberti did a commendable job and sometimes change is not good Rapid Blue, so we hope you keep her. The show will start on Saturday, 17 August 2013.

 The second season of the gay lifestyle drama series, After Nine, is also coming back. The drama series, which stars Aaron Molosi, Lucky Khoza and Matshepo Maleme was controversial when it first aired because of its subject matter. This season promises to take the story further.

The third season of Bar One Man Hunt moves from SABC3 to SABC1. Previously hosted by the capable Ursula Chikane, the show is now going to be hosted by tough guy, presenter, musician and actor, Howza. It’s a pity it moved from SABC 1, but as with most advertiser backed programmes, ratings are very important and we all know that SABC 1 is a ratings powerhouse.

The second part of the second season of the excellently written drama, Skeem Saam, returns next Thursday at 8.30pm. New additions to the cast include Destiny magazine's marketing executive,  Neo Ramitshana, who plays Botshelo, a new interest in one of the boy’s lives. Audiences met her in the Face of Turf competition; she was one of the top three finalists alongside Rachel and Mapitsi.  Her role gets bigger in this series when she meets one of the boys.

Mondays at 7pm, is the comedy slot of SABC 1 and new comedy, Single Guys will air.  A couple of educational docu-reality-series, like Vuka Kleva, Smovana and the second season of In Debt will also premiere during this season.

Generations is starting its 20th year anniversary five months earlier. With The Bold and the Beautiful moving to SABC 3, and all the variety shows moving from 6.30pm to 6pm, meaning that Generations will air 20 of their most iconic and genre changing episodes in that slot. According to channel head, Sam Mpherwa, the episodes that were chosen were those that made a big impact in the industry. “We could’ve chosen an episode from each year, but it wasn’t going to work. So we decided to choose the episodes that were groundbreaking, made an impact on Generations and the TV industry and also those episodes which without them, some characters wouldn’t have been created.” 

25.7.13

SABC Press Screening



In a first, SABC 1, 2 and 3 held a joint press screening at The Oyster Box hotel in Durban this afternoon. The purpose of their press screening is to keep the TV media up to date with the changes happening at the channels, new shows and new seasons of shows currently on the channels. 

Present at the press screening was SABC's GM of TV, Leo Manne, who thanked the media for their continued support of the three channels. He explained how the SABC is a special broadcasting corporation and that it is in tune with what the public wants. "Our viewers know how special we are and what role we play in their lives," he said. "We have wonderful brands, talent and partners that we work with on out shows, which gives us an edge." He admitted that with the changes in the industry they have had to adapt. "Innovation is who we are, so we always need to be a step ahead of everybody," he said. "The industry is changing and our channels need to be the first that embrace this change." 

Some of the major TV news announced, was the confirmation that CBS' The Bold and the Beautiful will now be moving to SABC 3. This move has long been touted and finally it has come to pass. So in September, The Bold is moving to SABC 3 and will air at 6pm. 

Since The Bold is moving to SABC3, SABC 1 is moving all it's variety and youth targeted shows to 6pm and during September, they'll be screening 20 iconic episodes of Generations, kick starting the 20 year anniversary celebrations of the soap. 

As mentioned this week, Rapid Blue's So You Think You Can Dance is making a return to SABC 1 in August. 

SABC 3 scored many great documentaries (which have already been screened by Discovery) and they should get their viewers tuned in. Also the second season of The Ultimate Braai Master is making a return and this season, the stakes are very high. 

While there was a lot that wasn't revealed, free to air TV viewers will certainly not have a problem finding something to tune into in the next two to three months. 



Melusi Yeni written out of Generations

Melusi Yeni as Phenyo Dhlomo with Katlego Danke as Dineo Mashaba-Dhlomo
 Oh the fickle world of television. A few hours ago we received an email notifying us that Generations heartthrob, Melusi Yeni, who plays the once honourable, but now dishonest and philandering Phenyo Dhlomo, has been, in not so many words, fired from the SABC 1 soap.

According to the statement released by Generations publicist, Nyagunda Ngwenya, Yeni has been written out of the show, apparently to further a story-line. 
"Phenyo will be on viewers’ screens until early December 2013. His exit story-line promises to be intriguing as he faces new challenges and difficult choices. Loyal Generations viewers should not despair as new talent will be introduced on the soap in the near future." 

Generations' EP, Mfundi Mvundla and SABC 1's channel head, Sam Mpherwane, had high praise for the departing actor. "Melusi is one of South Africa's most talented actors. I'm certain he will continue excelling in the exercise of his craft," Vundlsa said. "We are saddened by Melusi Yeni’s departure on the biggest and most watched drama in South Africa. Our viewers will certainly miss him, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours," Mpherwane added. 

It's sad that Yeni is leaving the soap, but it's great too because he now explore other shows. Maybe he could get together with Portia Gumede and create a new show- there's always need for new dramas in South Africa. Even a Sokhulu & Partners spin-off show, if well written, could work. 

As Mabutho Sokhulu on legal drama, Sokhulu and Partners 
But one must say that it is rather shocking and surprising that Generations is letting go of him after they poached him from M-Net's cancelled, The Wild.  Let's hope it all works out for him. He's talented and when given a great role, he makes sure he does it justice. 

PIC: Generations and Sokhulu and Partners archives 

A Guide To The Cast Of "Orange Is The New Black" - Buzzfeed

On a show as expansive and diverse as Orange Is the New Black, it can be hard to get a handle on the cast. Here’s a look at some (but not all) of the women and men who make up Netflix’s new drama and where you’ve seen them before.



Taylor Schilling



Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images

Whom she plays: Piper Chapman, a woman who gets sent to prison for once carrying drug money 10 years prior.
Where you know her from: Nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan on Mercy, Beth inThe Lucky One, Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged: Part I.
Where you’ll see her next: She’s starring in Stay, based on the novel by Aislinn Hunter.

Laura Prepon

Image by Netflix

Image by Michael Buckner / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Alex Vause, Piper’s ex-girlfriend and drug runner.
Where you know her from: Donna Pinciotti on That ’70s Show, Hannah Daniels onOctober Road, Chelsea Newman on Are You There, Chelsea?

Michael Harney


Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom he plays: Sam Healy, Piper’s counselor in prison.
Where you know him from: Pete Jensen in Erin Brockovich, Steve on Deadwood, Det. Mitch Ouellette on Weeds.

Michelle Hurst

Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Miss Claudette Pelage, Piper’s roommate.
Where you know her from: Nurse in Stepmom, Dorothy Washington in Sherrybaby, Theater Manager in Frances Ha.

Kate Mulgrew


Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Galina “Red” Reznikov, an inmate who also serves as the prison chef.
Where you know her from: Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, Mary Ryan on Ryan’s Hope, Kove on NTSF:SD:SUV::.
Where you’ll see her next: As Edith Morse Robb in 1920s period piece Drawing Home.

Jason Biggs


Image by Netflix

Image by Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Whom he plays: Larry Bloom, Piper’s struggling writer fiancé.
Where you know him from: Jim Levenstein in the American Pie series, Ben Parr onMad Love, Dylan Stack on The Good Wife.
Where you’ll see him next: He’s the voice of Leonardo on Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Danielle Brooks


Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson, an inmate and Poussey’s best friend.
Where you know her from: Raimy in Modern Love.

Samira Wiley

Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Poussey Washington, an inmate and Taystee’s best friend.
What you know her from: Gina on Unforgettable, Tina in The Sitter, Asha in Being Flynn.
Where you’ll see her next: As Agent Annie Bell in Rob the Mob, which is currently filming.

Natasha Lyonne


Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Nicky Nichols, a recovering addict in prison.
Where you know her from: Jessica in the American Pie series, Vivian Abromowitz inSlums of Beverly Hills, Megan Bloomfield in But I’m a Cheerleader.
Where you’ll see her next: As Yael in the thriller 7A and Gloria in The Quitter.

Pablo Schreiber


Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom he plays: George “Pornstache” Mendez, a corrupt prison guard.
Where you know him from: Nick Sobotka on The Wire, Johnny Leary on Lights Out, Demetri Ravitch on Weeds.
Where you’ll see him next: As Staff Sergeant Donovan in Fort Bliss and Bryan Macy in The Dramatics.

Laverne Cox


Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Sophia Burset, an inmate and transsexual woman.
Where you know her from: A contestant on I Want to Work for Diddy, the host ofTRANSform Me, Sex Worker on Bored to Death.
Where you’ll see her next: She’s starring as Chardonnay in Grand Street.

Yael Stone


Image by Netflix

Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Lorna Morello, an inmate who drives the van and dates Nicky.
Where you know her from: Stacy in Me Myself I, Ann-Marie Preston on All Saints, Linda on Spirited.

Nick Sandow


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Source: imdb.com
Whom he plays: Joe Caputo, a prison employee.
Where you know him from: Father Dan on How to Make It in America, Lt. Alex Bello on Blue Bloods, Waxey Gordon on Boardwalk Empire.

Maria Dizzia


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Image by Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Polly Harper, Piper’s best friend.
Where you know her from: Katie in Martha Marcy May Marlene, Woman Subletter inLola Versus, Delores on Louie.
Where you’ll see her next: As Allison McColl in Captain Phillips, based on a true story, and Mary Jane Longo in True Story, also based on a true story, naturally.

Nick Stevenson


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom he plays: Pete Harper, Polly’s husband.
Where you know him from: Ken in The Contenders, several short films.
Where you’ll see him next: As Cooper in Extinction: Patient Zero and Bobby Weldon in dramedy Isn’t It Delicious.

Uzo Aduba


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Susanna “Crazy Eyes” Warren, an inmate who takes a liking to Piper.
Where you know her from: Cafeteria Lady in the short Sing Along.

Catherine Curtin


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Wanda Bell, a prison corrections officer.
Where you know her from: Fran on Guiding Light, Betty on The Naked Brothers Band, Leigh-Anne Black in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Where you’ll see her next: As an FBI agent in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

Dascha Polanco


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Dayanara “Daya” Diaz, an inmate in a relationship with a prison guard.
Where you know her from: Estella on Unforgettable.
Where you’ll see her next: As Carmel in Gimme Shelter starring Vanessa Hudgens.

Matt McGorry


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom he plays: John Bennett, a prison guard in a relationship with Daya.
Where you know him from: Grey Malcolm in Thursday, Officer Sam Klecko onElementary, several CollegeHumor shorts.

Elizabeth Rodriguez


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Aleida Diaz, Daya’s mother and fellow inmate.
Where you know her from: Gina Calabrese in Miami Vice, Carmen Morales on All My Children, Detective Carolina Rivera on Prime Suspect.
Where you’ll see her next: As Rita Sierra in Glass Chin, and she’s featured in crime drama Animal Rescue.

Taryn Manning


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Tiffany “Pennsyltucky” Doggett, an inmate who tries to preach to and heal other inmates.
Where you know her from: Mimi in Crossroads, Nola in Hustle & Flow, Mary Ann McGarrett on Hawaii Five-0.
Where you’ll see her next: As Patricia Rose in A Winter Rose, Leslie in Heaven’s Rain, and Kamila in Man Without a Head, among other projects.

Vicky Jeudy


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Janae Watson, an inmate who arrives at the same time as Piper.
Where you know her from: She’s been in various short films, including Bottom FeederLiving Peterson, and Addiction.

Madeline Brewer


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Tricia Miller, an addict who relapses in prison.
Where you know her from: This is her first role.

Lea DeLaria


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Carrie “Big Boo” Black, a butch inmate.
Where you know her from: Angie in Edge of Seventeen, Professor Delbert Fina onOne Life to Live, a lengthy stand-up comedy career.

Beth Fowler


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Sister Ingalls, an activist nun in prison.
Where you know her from: Choir Nun in the Sister Act series, Mistress of Ceremonies on Gossip Girl, several Broadway shows.

Lin Tucci


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Image by Rob Kim / Getty Images
Whom she plays: Anita De Marco, Piper’s first roommate.
Where you know her from: Henrietta “Mama” Bazoom in Showgirls, Aunt Louise inBrooklyn Rules, Sheila in How to Seduce Difficult Women.

Constance Shulman


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Whom she plays: Yoga Jones, an inmate who teaches yoga.
Where you know her from: The voice of Patti Mayonnaise on Doug, Missy in Fried Green Tomatoes, Shelly Ray on The Faculty.